Episode ThemeJustice-Seeking: Follow the crowd or follow God?
Peer pressure. Have you ever been pressured by your friends or classmates to do something dangerous? Wrong? Scary? Have you ever gone with the flow even though you knew in your heart it was wrong? Have you ever let your desire to be liked make you do something that you knew was wrong? Have you ever not done something you knew you should do because of peer pressure? Then you should meet two Old Testament Bible people named Daniel and Esther.
Daniel faced peer pressure to do something he knew was wrong. Daniel’s country (Judah) was conquered by Babylon. Some young men, including Daniel, were sent to the king’s palace to be trained to work for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. These young men were given an education and good food to eat. Unfortunately, this good food was food that was offered to idols. Daniel knew this. He also knew that if he ate this food, he would be sinning against the only true God. How could Daniel possible resist the pressure to eat the food that the king provided?
Esther faced pressure not to speak up. She was the new queen. The queen before her had been banished for not obeying the king. Esther learned that the king had been swayed into making a law that let Jewish people be robbed and killed just because they were Jewish. Esther was Jewish. If she was silent, no one would ever know that she was Jewish. She knew that if she could persuade the king to change his mind, she could save her people. She also knew that if she spoke up, the king could also kill her.
What did they do? Daniel politely asked if he could be served only vegetables and water. His request was honored, and Daniel spent the rest of his life advising foreign kings. Esther asked for prayer and then approached the king. The king listened to her and changed his law to protect his Jewish citizens.
What about you? The next time you are pressured to do something wrong or feeling pressure not to do something right, think of Daniel and Esther. Tell God about the pressure you are experiencing. Ask him for his wisdom and strength. God took care of both Daniel and Esther, and he wants to help you too!